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A Quick Trip to Antelope Island State Park in Utah

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Whenever my husband and I have free time, we like spending time doing activities together, such as hiking or taking day trips.

Antelope Island State Park

Antelope Island State Park

My husband and I recently went on a half-day trip to Antelope Island State Park, located west of the town of Layton and about 41 miles north of Salt Lake City. Accessed by a causeway, the island is surrounded by hills and water. It sits in the Great Salt Lake and features free-roaming bison and antelope herds. We left early in the morning so we could explore as much as possible.

In this article, I'll share a few tips about visiting the island, as well as some details and photos of its main attractions.

Tips and Information for Visiting

During the hot and warm seasons, especially summer, there are a lot of bugs on the island. As you're driving along the road, you will see the insects zipping by the front and side windows of your car. So if you're coming during the warm months, you should be prepared with proper attire (e.g., a head net and long sleeves/pants), and you might want to consider bringing bug spray.

Northern Utah experiences dryness, especially in July and August, when the temperature regularly hits the 90s. For a pleasant time to travel here, I would recommend fall or spring.

There is an entrance fee to enter the island. The charge is as stated below:

  • $15 Day-Use per Vehicle
  • $10 Day-Use for Utah Senior Residents
  • $3 Cyclists and Pedestrians
  • $75 Annual Day-Use Pass (causeway pass is separate)
  • $35 Senior Adventure (annual) Pass

The island offers many popular activities, such as scenic drives and bike rides. My husband and I enjoyed a scenic drive on the island, and we stopped at a few locations to hike. There are easy and moderate trails you can do here. We recommend Buffalo Point Trailhead, Frary Peak Trail, and the Lakeside Trail.

Some other popular activities you might want to consider are:

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Read More from WanderWisdom

  • Horseback riding
  • Cycling
  • Paddling
  • Sailing
  • Historic sites
  • Birding and wildlife viewing
  • Camping
We spotted this huge bison in a field.

We spotted this huge bison in a field.

Wildlife and Natural Panoramas

The main attractions on the island are the wildlife and the beautiful landscape. The causeway is a wonderful place to see shorebirds and sea birds. You may experience some funky air (rotten-egg smell) if you leave your car for a few quick photos. The smell comes from hydrogen sulfide gas. A road to the state park on Antelope Island keeps the wastewater from flowing out of the bay, and its shallow depth amplifies the smell as the wind moves across the bay, creating waves that bring the gas to the surface.

We were lucky to see a herd of bison wandering on the island, including some standing and lying in the saltwater on the beaches. It was mesmerizing. We hiked up a nearby hill and sat down on the rock to admire the panoramas of the island. It was very windy that day; I remember we had a hard time staying upright.

I managed to take a photo of the bison on the field from my car. If you're driving on the island, be very vigilant as the bison is very fast. It is advised to not approach them near if you want to take photos.

Unfortunately, we didn't get the chance to observe any antelope.

A Great Experience!

Antelope Island State Park is a great place for an adventure. You get to see the local wildlife and take in the beautiful, inviting landscape, making it an excellent activity for outdoor lovers. We were mesmerized by the tranquil and picturesque landscape.

Overall, our experiences on the island were splendid. However, it seems a half-day trip to the island was not enough for us. We want to come back for camping and horseback riding in the future.

Antelope Island State Park, Utah

© 2020 Liza

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